3 Support Group Opportunities

Caregivers Action Network- About Us

There are a good number of various resources here for the support of caregivers, including those with a family member who has disabilities. It is a large, well developed organization, and there are volunteers who can guide you through whatever issues you may have.  It is not a religious organization, but it is clear that their goals are to provide well rounded support for caregivers- personal support and all kinds of advice from people who have been there and know what it is like to be a caregiver. Of course, for an Orthodox Christian, their advice will need to be supplemented by that of one’s spiritual father.

Not Alone: Finishing the Course

This is an effort by Christians  with children who have disabilities to form a supportive network. The Christians, it would appear, are mostly from various protestant evangelical groups. They offer relationships (emphasis theirs) – encouragement, guidance, and prayer. The pictures on the site show women- mothers- but fathers are certainly not prohibited.  They also provide written resources and encouragement groups.

I see no reason why an Orthodox Christian parent who would like to touch base with other parents who profess faith in our Lord Jesus Christ would be prohibited from availing themselves of some of the resources offered here, but this really should be discussed with one’s Parish Priest, especially in regard to the offer of “praying together.” I will not comment on this, because it is the responsibility of  one’s Orthodox Christian spiritual father to sort out such matters.

Destination: Sainthood (via the funny farm): “Our whole household”

While not every Parish has other families who have children with disabilities, there is a list of Orthodox Christian families in this blog’s Resource section, Orthodox Christian Disability Resources, that provides an avenue to connect with other Orthodox Christian families as well.

OCDR: Online Orthodox Christian persons with disabilites & their families

Here is the page from Orthodox Christian Disability Resources with the blogs, online articles, and news from other Orthodox Christian families  with members with disabilities. The means whereby one can contact the families and persons listed is not provided; a bit of legwork will be required to get in touch. I wish there was something better organized in terms of an Orthodox Christian network of families with disabled members, but at this point one has not been developed.

Here is an opportunity to create an online work of great value. He or she who has ears to hear, let him/her hear!

Photo from Destination: Sainthood (via the funny farm) previously “Mairs Momilies”

 

St. Gerasimos of Cephalonia †1579

St_Gerasimos_of_Kephalonia

St_Gerasimos_of_Kephalonia

St. Gerasimos of Cephalonia is known to be an intercessor for the mentally ill and demon possessed. His life and informative details of his Feast on Cephalonia on August 16th, as well as the Feast of the Restitution of his relics on October 20th, can be found here: Full of Grace and Truth: St. Gerasimos of Cephalonia

The following post brings out more details of his gift of healing the demon possessed. Eight reports of miracles which occurred at the Monastery of St. Gerasimos are also related: Mystagogy: St. Gerasimos of Keffalonia and the Demon Possessed

And here is a short video (2 minutes) which captures a portion of His Feast on Cephalonia in August 16th: You Tube: The Holy Relic of Saint Gerasimos – Kefalonia (Greece)

icon from orthowiki.org

An Artifact History of Disability in America

W44-2From the Smithsonian National Museum of American History:

People with disabilities have been present throughout American history

This online display includes a variety of images as well as a timeline provided by Temple University:

Temple University: Disability Rights Timeline  & Further Historical Resources

Dr. Wolf Wolfensperger gave a two day symposium at Millersville University in Pennsylvania a number of years back in which he details, with pictures and vivid description, the evolution of human services, including those to persons with disability. The path from early Christian efforts to secular and modern efforts has not been a tale of continuous progress. In fact, until recently it has been a horror story. And Dr. Wolfensperger concludes by noting continuing deficiencies and issuing a dire warning in light of societal trends. This video series is many hours long, but it is an eye-opener:

A History of Human Services, Universal Lessons, and Future Implications (a video series)

 

Orthocath: Orthodox Christians Who are Deaf and Blind

Orthocath is a webblog written by a man who has become an Orthodox Christian, left the Church for some reason, and then come back. His parents were both deaf, and he learned American Sign Language. Additionally, he is sensitive to the Orthodox Church’s response and efforts toward the deaf community. In the following blog posts he shares and develops this:

Orthocath: My Two Worlds — Deaf & Hearing

Orthocath: Orthodox Christians Who are Deaf and Blind

Orthocath writes,

As I said earlier, very little work has been done with the Deaf in mind in Orthodox parishes here in North America. But, such is possible as the examples from Russia and Greece show. I pray the day for deaf ministry amongst Orthodox here in North America is not far away.

subdeacon-tigran

Subdeacon Tigran Khachikyan

Orthocath: Armenian Orthodox Ordain First Deaf Sub-Deacon

You Tube: His Ordination
You Tube: Conversation With Subdeacon Tigran
Tigran’s You Tube Page, with many informative videos

There is also a Facebook Page for Deaf Orthodox Christians:

Facebook: Deaf Orthodox Christians

 

“Teaching Learners with Multiple Needs”

I must confess that I’m not current with technological advances, which limits my ability to comment on the content of this weblog, but from the look of it I would say it is an outstanding resource for educators, whether public, private, or home school.  Assistive Technology receives a lot of focus. The author’s name is Kate Ahern. To access her blog:

Teaching Learners with Multiple Needs

Several free online switch activities from her weblog:

online switch activites

Presently she works for Easter Seals Massachusetts:

New Staff Members Add Talents to Assistive Technology Team

You can also follow her on Quora: Kate Ahern

Picture from Heather Coleman (another blog concerning assistive technology)

St. Naum the Miracle-worker of Ohrid †910

St. Naum

St. Naum is called upon to intercede with the Lord for people with mental disorders.

St. Naum of Ohrid (or Preslav) followed in the footsteps of St. Cyril and Methodius, missionaries to the Slavic lands, who translated liturgical texts from Greek into the language of the people, Slavonic. As they lived before the schism with Rome, St. Naum accompanied St. Cyril and Methodius to Rome, where God worked many miracles through them, so that the Pope came to see their translation work as a work of God. On their way back to their mission field, the Slavic lands, they traveled through Germany, where they opposed a number of heresies, and were tortured and imprisoned. Freed through an earthquake from God, they proceeded to Bulgaria, where St. Naum traveled about with fellow disciple St. Clement distributing the Bulgarian translation of the Holy Scriptures and preaching the Way of Christ. His feastday is December 23.

Sources: Orthodox Wiki: St. Naum of Preslav & A List of Saints Called upon for … Mental Disorders

There is a Monastery on the shore of Lake Ohrid named after him: St. Naum Monastery on Ohrid Lake, Macedonia

The ABLE Act

The lady sitting in the sqeaky wheelchair

NDSS: Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

A Personal Response to the ABLE Act from The Sqeaky Wheelchair

An excerpt:

I am a person with a disability. I am a student who works hard every day, and plans to graduate with honors. I am a person with big ideas, anxious to change the world. I would love to someday own an apartment, or even a house, to take a vacation, and to raise children of my own. I shouldn’t have all of that in jeopardy if I want to keep the supports that I rely on every day. In addition to all of these things, I am an American, and I want to believe again, with the same youthful hope we instill in our kindergartners when we teach them about the Fourth of July, that everything waiting for a hard-working person without a disability is also waiting for me. Dear Mr. President, dear Congressperson, dear friend, dear neighbor, dear fellow human being… Make me believe again. I know we can do it together.

READ THE …

ARC Fact Sheet

It was introduced in the Senate by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and support for the bill continues to grow in the U.S. Congress. Robert P. Casey, Jr., U.S. Senator for Pennsylvania: Support for ABLE Act Continues to Grow

To advocate for the ABLE Act, Sign this petition: Change.org: Pass the ABLE Act

Also, the NDSS site has numerous online resources for further advocacy.

On a final note, California Rep. Dan Issa (R), an Antiochian Orthodox Christian, supports it!

Rep. Dan Issa


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